October 6th, 2013
11:16 AM ET
11 months ago

Cruz: Use debt ceiling debate for leverage

(CNN) - Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas linked raising the debt ceiling to funding the Affordable Care Act in an exclusive interview Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union” with Candy Crowley.

“The debt ceiling historically has been among the best leverage that Congress has to rein in the executive," Cruz said.

He listed three objectives as Republicans approach the debt ceiling.

"No. 1, we should look for some significant structural plan and reduce government spending. No. 2, we should avoid new taxes, and No. 3, we should look for ways to mitigate the harms from Obamacare."

"Since 1978, we raised the debt ceiling 58 times," said Cruz. "Twenty times Congress attached very specific and stringent requirements, many of the most significant spending restraints. So the president's demand to jack up the nation's credit card with no limits, no constraints - it's not reasonable."

The United States will reach its borrowing limit on October 17.

The government temporarily shut down on October 1 after Republicans in the House held up the passage of a spending bill, which would allow the government to pay its bills, in an attempt to get changes or delayed implementation of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama's signature health care initiative.

Cruz is seen by some as the driving force behind the government shutdown, as he has urged fellow Republicans in the House to continue demanding that any plan to fund the government be tied to defunding the president's sweeping health care initiative.

Cruz said that letting Obamacare go further into effect "would destroy the private health care system." He blamed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for refusing to take up a series of piecemeal bills passed by the House to fund certain parts of the government. Democrats in the Senate and the White House say they will only pass a "clean" spending bill that does not carry restrictions or changes to the health care law.

The tea party favorite has been a target of blame from both Democrats and some Republicans for the shutdown standstill.

"The president and certainly Harry Reid and Senate Democrats have not been shy and using all sorts of inflammatory attacks," Cruz said about receiving criticism from Democrats and some within his own party.

"The fact that you're seeing those attacks, I think, is indicative of the fact that we're winning the argument. Obamacare isn't working."

According to a CBS News poll released this week, 72% of Americans disapprove of the shutdown, and more Americans blame congressional Republicans than blame Obama.

Despite this, Cruz doesn't think his actions have taken a negative toll on his party's image.

"Not remotely," Cruz said. "But I also think far too many people are worried about politics."


Filed under: Government Shutdown • national debt • Ted Cruz
soundoff (1,410 Responses)
  1. Be Reasonable

    This Carnival Cruz guy just doesn't know when to quit, does he? Look, the only harmful effects that Obamacare is going to produce is to hasten the decline of the GOP. Cruz knows that just like the rest of the country knows that.

    October 6, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. brian

    i have an idea...i believe we need to take ted cruz, along with the rest of his tea party, and move them into kansas, where all those crazy, 'evolution isn't real,' people live, and give it back to the french..perhaps sweeten the deal with an offering of 5 million dollars :)

    October 6, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. my10cents

    If Crowley's interview (don't have a better word for the broadcast) was an attempt to showcase Cruz to both sides of the argument without any questions to create debate then it was a complete success. If on the other hand this was supposed to be an interview that pushed Cruz into defending his position on healthcare coverage and explaining the policies he would use to achieve his changes to government then Crowley failed miserably. IMO, this interview was a complete failure because we did not learn anything new about Cruz. What a waste of airtime.

    October 6, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  4. guest

    We need to destroy the private health care system to build a better one. Nobody can deny this one is not working. (Except for the rich of course)

    October 6, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  5. KR

    Tea trolls need to be voted out! They are ruining America!

    October 6, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  6. Laurel

    Can Senator Ted Cruz sink any lower? Just when I thought he might back down from the insanity – he continues to run off a cliff like the lemming Congressman Devin Nunez compared him to. Stop running our country into the ground Cruz! If you want to kill yourself as a future candidate – be my guest. Just don't take us with you.

    October 6, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  7. GOP =Greed Over People

    Someone suggested buying the Chinese yuan on this thread!

    While not being quite that alarmist, I have sold any and all stock holdings, and sitting on all cash, before Wall Street starts to take this clown serious and sees the TP terrorists define a "win" as bringing down the global economy. The Koch heads want to be the ones that are left with the only funds so, they can have the largest say in the rebuilding process(I too read the NYT article).

    Some of you small retail stock investors, such as my self, might be wise to sell prior to oh, say. the 10th or there abouts.

    We got burned in 2008 when it fell, do not get burned twice, I know, I won't!!!

    October 6, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  8. dougma

    Mr Cruz, is Snydley Whiplash without the mustachio and beard. "Can't pay your bills Dear Country , perhaps we can come to an arrangement, Marry my demands and I will pay the bills! Else, I shall tie you this railroad track in front of the oncoming train and see you crushed!"

    October 6, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  9. seriously_not

    Tragic, Our Gov’t Leaders Showing the World, We Too, Are Pathetic, No More but No Less Pathetic Than Any Other Gov’t Leadership, Willing, Openly Willing, To Screw Its Own People/Voters, The People Who Pay Their Payroll. Go Cruz & The GOPers Supporting Him, You Men Must Be So Proud (sarcasm).

    October 6, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  10. Appalled

    An ambitious sociopath seizing the opportunity for the spotlight, like Joe McCarthy. If legislators want to restrain public spending or alter or even abolish government-organized healthcare they need to get the votes to do it, not by menacing the country with financial catastrophe and chaos. He doesn't care, get it? And he is not like the simpletons and hoots that support him, he is Princeton-educated and knows better. I predict this maneuver will tear the Republican party in two and we can only hope this is extinction of the Tea Party in 2014 as voters react to it. Especially the millions in red states that are being denied healthcare from Medicaid because they refused to adopt it.

    October 6, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. Raul

    Did anyone notice Cruz has an ear piece. This is the case when politicians can answer questions for themselves and have to rely on help form legal and strategy advisors. Another Sarah Pailin.

    October 6, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. trumod

    He's Sarah Palin with external genitalia. And should be kicked in same.

    October 6, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  13. Raul

    Did anyone notice Cruz has an ear piece. This is the case when politicians CANNOT answer questions for themselves and have to rely on help form legal and strategy advisors. Another Sarah Pailin.

    October 6, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. MJW

    To Pilgrim anyone who think that way. The economy of the US and the world for that matter is not the same as it was in 1920. I can imagine people back then saying our debt is too big we will not be able to control it. Economies change over the years and we have to grow and change with it. No president wants the debt to be out of control but times have changed. Just as they want to take their country back, they also want to take the US back to a time when things were so unequal and only one sector had the wealth. It is not going to happen, we are in a modern global economy and if America is not there, who do you think is the next largest economy? Stop being ridiculous and help grow the economy and help America be strong and maintain its greatness in the world. We are not going backwards, forever forward.

    October 6, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. ecis

    How are we breaking something that is already broken? Private healthcare in this country is a joke already.

    Why don't we instead try to cut outrageous subsidies, congressional overpay, or maybe reduce the effect of the military industrial complex? (Unfortunately, while our troops are deployed, the last item almost seems unconscionable)

    October 6, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  16. tcs1891

    Cruz and company take credit for the shutdown while blaming it on the President at the same time. Which is it? You can't have it both ways. Hypocritical, bullying nonsense wrecking the GOP. Waiting for adults to come back and retake the party.

    October 6, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  17. anoymous

    tell ted cruz to go back where he camefrom and leave america along he sure want get votes no more

    October 6, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. ib4ucy

    A U.S. Veteran is someone who was, at one point in his or her life, brave enough to raise their right hand while writing out a blank check with their left hand made payable to the 'United States of America', in the amount of “up to and including their life".
    MAY GOD BLESS EACH & EVERY ONE OF THEM because since the beginning of recorded time, this planet Earth has only seen 50 days of TOTAL PEACE amongst all of its Nations at any given time!
    Every Nation needs their own individual Armies or you and your people will not be around for very long on this Big Blue Marble we all call HOME!
    So I ask you, why is OBAMA obviously cutting back on U.S. National Defense?

    October 6, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. alex

    Well we might as well start calling him speaker Cruz because it's obvious this man has more power than Boehner. And as far as candy giving him more time to talk, I think it was a great strategy. Sometimes letting crazy people talk is the best way to see into their crazy worlds. Destroy private health insurance – I pray for that every day.

    October 6, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  20. Harry

    Well this is a fine mess you have gotten us into, Oliver. This whole scenario kind of reminds of Laurel and Hardy with The Keystone Cops. Not sure I can identify the characters exactly, because the whole scenario is rather entertaining, I don't think it matters. So long as the American public is entertained by both the selfish politicos and the hysterical media we can probably ignore the consequences. However, come 10/17 when the nation defaults somebody has to take this seriously. The only question is, does anybody have the will to forget self interestsand find a solution for the common good.

    October 6, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  21. L.Sanfod

    Can't any intelligent and sane person in the GOP if there are any left, shut this maniac's mouth, He's had his 15 minutes and it's over!

    October 6, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  22. Catherine

    GOOD! Give this country ten couples that have to live on a budget (as we did) put two through college and only one of us worked while our kids were young – I guarantee you "regular" people would fix this mess – tomorrow!!!!

    October 6, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  23. Bonnie H

    Ted Cruz and his cohorts are the worst thing that has ever happened to our country! They should all be arrested for treason. They are enemies of the people. They have some hair brained idea that when they bring down our country that our wealth will be transferred to them. Take time to look up the teachings of the church that they worship at: Christian Dominionism.

    October 6, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  24. Hawk in Texas

    I wish everyone would quit saying ted cruz from Texas. First he is a Cuban Canadian, not a Texan. second his name is Rafael Cruz. not Ted. third he is telling the republican controlled house what to do and when to do it but he is not in the house, he is in the senate. fourth he is saying not to pay the bills that america owes. that alone is treason in my book. fifth. i will bet if you could find out where his money comes from to run for election to the senate you would find that the Koch brothers bankrolled him. they should be arrested and tried for trying to overthrow the goverment. and i would bet that you would find monsanto messed up in this too.

    October 6, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  25. TLORop

    I wonder if his would melt if he actually told the truth about the Affordable Health Care Act. It probably would.

    October 6, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
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